A local business is "giving back to the community" by offering free back-to-school backpacks for area children in need.
Statesboro's Verizon store on East Kennedy Street will give away 250 backpacks filled with school supplies Saturday, July 30, as part of a corporate event that will help 235,000 children nationwide, according to Skylar Whitney, spokesperson for TCC, the largest Verizon Authorized Retailer in the country.
The annual School Rocks Backpack Giveaway is also partnered with A Wireless, she said.
Local Verizon employee Rich Boyd said the giveaway event will begin at noon and last until 3 p.m. or until all backpacks are distributed.
"They are filled with all kinds of school supplies," he said. "Pencils, folders, pens and more."
The giveaway will be held at the Statesboro store located at 11 East Kennedy St.
"There are a lot of people in need and children who may not be able to get a backpack," he said. "Our company is big in giving back to the community, and if people are unable to get a backpack and supplies of their own, we've got them covered."
Since 2013, TCC has donated more than 360,000 backpacks filled with supplies to ensure children are well prepared for the start of the school year, Whitney said.
"Every year, TCC employees and communities around the country look forward to the backpack giveaway," said Scott Moorehead, CEO of TCC. "It brings our employees immense joy to give back to the young children in their communities, and we are proud to put so many smiles on the faces of the deserving families who have made this annual event such a success."
One backpack per child present will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last, he said.
All leftover backpacks, if any, will be donated to local schools.
In 2015, the National Retail Federation predicted that the average person with children in grades kindergarten through 12th would spend around $98 on school supplies such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks. With more than 16 million children in the U.S. living in poverty, TCC is working to alleviate the rising costs of school supplies through this annual program, Whitney said.